IN this picture from 1989, mason Gary Shea carefully crafts new stone for Blackburn's 170 year old Cathedral.

The restoration was carried in his crypt workshop to replace crumbling stonework on the South clerestory. The stone, destined for the decorative string course and quarrelled locally at Waddington Fall, was tooled by the team of masons, from S and J Whitehead to provide a weather resistant finish.

Blackburn Cathedral was known as the parish church of St Mary the Virgin, becoming a cathedral in 1926, when the Diocese of Blackburn was created.It was designed by John Palmer in 1826. The foundation is believed to date from the year 596.

It was then redesigned by Mr Palmer, and again in 1961 Laurence King was appointed architect to the cathedral

Today, the building stands tall at the centre of Blackburn's renovated Cathedral Quarter.